The Grant Cycle
The Grant Life Cycle provides an overview of the entire proposal submission and administration process. The Cycle helps you to understand research policies and procedures and walks you through the challenges of finding funding and applying for and administering grants.
This section is designed to assist you with identifying appropriate funding sources for your research projects and provide information and assistance on the major searchable funding opportunity databases available to all investigators at UWG. The Pre-Award Services Office can assist faculty and staff in identifying possible sources of funding. Funding may be in the form of research grants, collaborative activities, travel, curriculum development, conference support, fellowships, equipment acquisition, and more.
External funding resources for both research and sponsored projects range from federally funded grants to small, corporate and community foundations. You can find links to funding opportunities from federal resources here under the "External Funding Opportunities" tab, and foundation and private sources here under "Corporate, Foundation and Non-Profit Support". These will give you a good start in identifying possibilities for funding your work, but you should feel free to contact the ORSP if you have any questions or need suggestions.
This section is designed to guide you through the process of reviewing the solicitation and preparing standard proposal components and compliance considerations. You should contact the ORSP office early in the process so that Pre-Award Services can assist you. The University requires that all proposals be received at least 5 business days prior to the funding agency deadline.
How To Start The Grant Process
- When you have an idea for a research project, fill out a Project Concept Form. This will let ORSP know that you're thinking about grant funding.
- Identify a grant that fits the needs of your project in conjunction with the Pre-Award Coordinator.
- Obtain a checklist of sponsor and internal requirements for your grant from the Pre-Award Coordinator.
- Update the ORSP on the progress of grant preparation. The ORSP can assist with questions regarding the budget, requirements, compliance questions, etc.
- Submit your grant to ORSP five business days before the deadline. This allows adequate time for a complete review by ORSP. Routing and other required forms must be signed by your Chair and Dean and submitted at this time.
Proposal Development and Grant Writing Consultation
- helping faculty create clear, concise narratives for their proposals
- refining big ideas to suit the specifications of the RFP
- proposal editing (grammar, usage, etc.)
- training and workshops for proposal development
Grant Identification and Submission
- identification of external funding sources based on your research interests
- interpretation of sponsor guidelines and requirements
- assistance with budget preparation
- training and workshops for the grant funding and submission process
Please remember to notify the ORSP as early as possible once a grant opportunity has been identified and selected.
When a researcher initiates a research project she/he MUST be aware of, and comply with, an array of federal, state and university regulations regarding a variety of issues such as research integrity; conflict of interest; and use of human subjects, vertebrate animals, biohazardous materials, radioactive materials and controlled substances. Other projects involve legal issues regarding intellectual property and patents. This section discusses some of these issues and provides guidance as to how to assure that a research project meets all reporting requirements.
The Office of Research & Sponsored Projects is charged with oversight of faculty and staff in the ethical and safe conduct of sponsored projects and research. University research is supported by a mix of sponsors that range from for-profit organizations, foreign entities and state and local governments. By far, the major source of university sponsored research comes from the Federal government. For this reason, regulations and compliance impose a significant demand of all universities, including UWG.
UWG subscribes to the CITI program which provides research ethics education courses for IRB (Human Subjects Research), Financial Conflicts of Interest (FCOI), Institutional Care and Use of Animals (IACUC), and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). All UWG faculty, staff and dents are encouraged to create a CITI account and register for the applicable CITI courses for the purpose of their research
The federal government requires an effort report when an individual is compensated by or has agreed to contribute time to a federally sponsored project. Principal Investigators on sponsored agreements are personally responsible to certify the amount of effort that they and their employees spent on sponsored activities.
Financial Conflict of Interest
It is the responsibility of all employees to disclose anything that is, or may appear to be a significant financial interest that could directly or indirectly affect the design, conduct, and/or reporting of research.
As an institution devoted to the creation and dissemination of new knowledge through research and scholarship, UWG is committed to maintaining the truthfulness and integrity fundamental to these activities through the responsible and ethical conduct of our faculty, staff, and students. UWG is required to report to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) annually and disclose any allegations of research misconduct.
Responsible Conduct of Research
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) require training in the responsible conduct of research for any undergraduate, graduate, or postdoc hired on a grant to do research.
New Federal regulations require UWG to ensure before submitting a proposal that entities working with UWG are correctly classified as a subrecipient or vendor, and that any subrecipient is in compliance with sponsor requirements. After funding subrecipient risk assessment must be completed prior to signing the agreement. The ORSP will determine the level of risk based on the Federal Uniform Guidance and include specific terms and conditions based on this level of risk.
Institutional Review Board
The Institutional Review Board for the protection of human subjects is changed with the responsibility for reviewing and approving research involving the use of human beings as subjects of research activities in accordance with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidelines.
Award Management involves abiding by the award terms and conditions throughout the lifetime of the sponsored project. The ORSP is responsible for fiscally administering funded grants and contracts according to university and sponsor rules. Award Management includes the set up of the grant according to the sponsor approved budget, meeting with the PI to discuss award conditions, reviewing financial transactions, and preparing financial reports. The ORSP will assist you in ensuring that all spending is allowable, allocable, and reasonable for your project.
The timely closeout of an award is important in order to meet the obligations of the award. During this phase the awarding agency determines that all applicable administrative actions and all required work for the project have been completed by the recipient. Closeout procedures may vary depending on the terms and conditions of an award. Typically, the university has 90 days to complete all of the activities associated with closeout. The ORSP will provide a checklist to PIs prior to the end of their project to help ensure the orderly close out of the project.
The Office of Research & Sponsored Projects is responsible for ensuring that all grants and projects are closed in a timely manner. Closeout involves reviewing project expenditures, collecting Subrecipient documents, resolving open commitments, and preparing required financial and project reports, invention/equipment statements, and deliverables for submission to the sponsor. Closeout procedures may vary depending on the terms and conditions of an award. Timeliness of final reporting is crucial to ensure compliance with sponsor requirements. Failure to submit reports by the deadline can result in suspension of the PI and/or University from receipt of additional funding, reimbursement for current costs, and ability to submit future proposals.
Grant Closeout Procedures - University closeout procedures were developed to ensure that all sponsor requirements are met in accordance with Federal Uniform Guidance standards.
Closeout Checklist for PI's – A tool to assist PIs as they address each area of responsibility that must be completed in order to close a project.
Notice of Closed Grant/Project – This document serves as a notification to the PI that the grant/project is officially closed.
Training Snapshots – These brief modules will answer frequently asked questions regarding the PI’s responsibilities for the effective closeout of an award.
How Can We Help?
The pre-proposal phase begins with a faculty or staff member's scholarly/creative agenda. To better assist you and to create the highest quality proposal it is ideal that you notify the Pre-Award Services Coordinator before you have a specific project in mind. Identifying how external funding can further one's goals is just the beginning. If any part of your agenda contains the question "If I only had more (equipment, time, staff support, supplies etc.)" we may be able to help.
- Help focus you agenda into a realistic and manageable "project" with a reasonable chance for external funding
- Examine your credentials and experience to both help find a fit with funding agencies and identify activities you may want to pursue before seeking external funding
- Aggressively search for appropriate funding opportunities
- Help establish a realistic timeline for proposal writing and submission
Proposal Development Phase
Preparing a proposal for submission is marketing your idea and skills to an agency who is looking for someone to help further their goals and priorities within the level of support they are making available. At the outset, it is always necessary to answer the following questions:
- What problem am I addressing?
- Why is it a problem?
- Is anyone else currently researching the problem?
- Why are current efforts inadequate?
- What are some suggested alternatives?
- What are the implications of these proposed alternatives?
- What is different about these proposed alternatives?
- What is the purpose of the proposed project?
- Does the project meet the needs of the target agency?
- Help frame answers to the above questions
- Facilitate communication between the investigator and the funding agency
- Monitor compliance with both the funding agency and university
- Help construct a realistic budget
- Provide editorial and design assistance
ORSP submits grant proposals on behalf of faculty and staff at UWG. ORSP pre-approval is necessary if the grant applicant intends for our office to administer the grant when it is awarded.
- Interpret sponsor guidelines and requirements based on the Request for Proposal to ensure compliance
- Guide you through the internal processes required at UWG
- Assist with budget preparation
Award Management Phase
Once the University receives a fully executed contract or grant agreement, the Award Management Specialist is the point of contact for the Project Investigator’s (PI) and Budget Contact's sponsored project questions and concerns. During this phase the Award Management responsibilities include:
- Assign grant account numbers
- Prepare documents for the initial grant budget, which are then entered into the PeopleSoft financial system
- Assist in the determination of allowable costs on sponsored projects
- Review all financial transactions and project budget revisions
- Prepare financial reports for PI’s, sponsoring agencies, and the University
- Prepare invoices and requesting drawdowns from sponsors to reimburse the University for grant expenditures
- Liaise with sponsors and PI’s
- Interpreting federal, state, and local guidelines with regard to fiscal matters
- Provide financial documentation and answering questions during internal or external audits
- Request No Cost Extensions when applicable
- Train PI’s and Budget Contacts in research administration
- Distribute F&A reimbursements and providing accurate account balances
- Perform grant closeout procedures & ensuring closeout requirements are met
- Assist with PeopleSoft report interpretation
- Provide other related assistance as needed to the PI and Budget Contact throughout the life of the project